Our prediction for this match:
Albania play host to Wales at their Elbasan Arena in an international friendly. The Albanians have been struggling in front of goal in 2018, but Saturday’s football match against Wales could be the turning point for Christian Panucci’s troops. Albania produce much better showings at home than on the travels and they are definitely capable of grabbing something from the Wales game. The Dragons, on the other hand, failed to win previous nine friendly matches, meaning that they are desperate to get back on course. Gareth Bale and Co. aim to finish the year in great manner, but seeing that Albania are tough to beat at home, we believe that there is a big value in betting on draw. In their last meeting on the international stage the two teams played out a 1-1 draw and we predict that the history is going to repeat itself.
Highlighted Player (Mergim Mavraj):
Born in Germany to Albanian parents, Mergim Mavraj made two appearances for the Germany Under 21 side before switching his allegiance to Albania and he has since become a key defender for his new national team. The experienced centre back began his professional career at Darmstadt, but his talent was quickly spotted by Bochum scouts and he made a move to the Bundesliga side in 2007. Four years later, he surprisingly opted to join second division side Greuther Furth, but that proved a good career move as he helped the team secure promotion to the Bundesliga before putting in some solid showings in the Germany’s top flight. But, when his side eventually returned to the second division, he moved to FC Koln, where he has been since the summer of 2014. Meanwhile, Mavraj quickly established himself as an important player for the Albanian national team, establishing a good partnership with captain Lorik Cana, and helping the team secure their place at the Euro 2016 finals.
Highlighted Team (Wales):
Despite being part of the United Kingdom, Wales national football team has been competing in FIFA tournaments since 1950, although they have so far only reached two tournament finals. The Dragons surprised everyone by making it to the quarter-finals at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, but little did they know that it would remain their only World Cup appearance up to date. Wales had plenty of problems in the European Championship qualifiers as well, but they finally managed to end the barren run by securing their place at the Euro 2016 in France. Led by the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen and Ashley Williams, the Dragons performed admirably throughout the campaign and even reached the 8th position in the FIFA Rankings in October 2015. Neville Southall remains the team’s most capped player, but the generation that included Ryan Giggs, Gary Speed, Craig Bellamy and John Hartson will also be remembered for some impressive performances against top European national teams.